Get Noticed By Employers at Year's End

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

With fall in full swing, and winter rapidly approaching, we are often confronted with questions about the hiring practices of employers during the end of the year. We recently received some insight from a volunteer of ours who has worked as an executive with many different organizations over the years. This is excellent advice regarding what companies are looking for during this part of the year and how to best position yourself to get hired.

"During my executive tenure in different organizations where I have hired many individuals at all levels in an organization, the positions which are open during the fourth quarter of a budget year (October, November, December) are particularly important. These positions have been carefully negotiated in the previous year to address a head count which matches the forecast of work anticipated in the upcoming year. These positions add to the operating expense of an organization and are carefully scrutinized and budgeted.

If there are any outstanding positions not filled during the fourth quarter, these positions are a priority for any given department. If these positions go unfilled, the prospect of carrying forward that position in the New Year becomes difficult or at the very least awkward.

So given the fourth quarter vacancies, I have always noticed that the more experienced and mature candidates are given a preference over younger and less experienced candidates. The reason is that the time to integrate a new employee into a role is dramatically reduced. The individual will need to "hit the ground running" almost immediately. Earlier in the year, entry level positions are most apt to be filled by less experienced candidates, since plans to ease them into open positions have the luxury of a full year of training and orientation. In the  fourth quarter, this patient luxury has all but evaporated.

I hope this helps those experienced clients you have in your system. The next few months is their turn to impress employers with their ability to perform immediately.

I have one tip to offer those individual which could dramatically improve their chances at an interview during this period. If they have done their homework on the company and the position, I would draft a 30 day and 60 day plan of what they can do on the job. No other candidates without their level of experience can match this simple one page, bullet point document - because they will not know what to do.

I would present this document when the question comes up "What are your strengths, or what experiences do you have?" Presenting this document as a talking point firmly positions the candidate as someone who can do the job the way the hiring manager needs it to be done. I have come across this technique in several interviews and it totally impressed me - and yes they were offered a job."


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